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‘Weird Like Us’
A Discussion with Yeti Waters: Portland, Tuesday February 28, 2023
© 2023 James LaFond
SEP/15/23
I stepped into the Yeti Lair of my good friend and Portland host, now since December 2018, the man who keeps a roof over my head for my fifth winter now. Wow, I’ve been a bum for almost five solid years. I was hoping to be dead, and instead find this lingering state to be one of confusion.
It is my habit to not write on my last day and first day at a location where I am bound to spend more than a week. Time is better spent getting the writing area squared away and figuring out how to have the lowest-friction living arrangement. It is also rude to go right to work.
If it is a new location, I need to get to know my host. If it is a return to a friend of some years and a partner in weird adventures the host has often set aside a day to greet me and are often hungry for the latest observations from the traveler. My first day in town is the fulfillment of the ancient wanderer’s obligation to his host, the relation of news. In places such as Utah, Washington and Oregon, I have more than one host, with neighbors to visit.
With certain kinds of hosts: Nero the Pict, Mister Gray, Paul Bingham and Yeti Waters, men who read a lot and lack people in their local circle of friends and family with whom they can discuss literature, I represent a fellow reader, and in most cases a fellow writer as well.
Yeti Waters works a lot as a truck driver and gets to listen do audio books as he drives, a real perk of the overnight driving biz. I recall my father being thrilled to listen to long audio recordings of professional voice actors reading classics while he drove 25 days straight across the nation hauling this and that here and there.
My host had gotten home before dawn and had breakfast on the stove while I was coming through the door. Rather than sleep, he drank a pot of coffee between shifts and spoke with this old crackpot. For four hours we rambled in the kitchen. What follows are the main threads of discussion, which focused at first on books I had recommended which he had read.
Yeti Waters: “Reading books about Tecumseh and Simon Kenton from just forty years ago and the fact that it was difficult for people to tell if some one was an Indian or not, that there were all these so-called white people in Ohio and Indiana that had these tribal ancestors, is really thunderous. What I mean is that any search online for these chiefs has them looking like Apaches and having pure Indian genetics and all you can find on Blue Jacket is why he wasn’t a runaway Dutch kid. It makes me wonder, was everybody lying back then too? Is there any point in reading any of it?”
Yeti Crackpot: “My sense is that lying, omitting and negating the actual record as the primary occupation of the literate class in America, did not begin until the Declaration of Independence. In fact, the founding documents of the 1770s and 80s contain more lies, omissions and distortions than all English literature produced in North America from 1609 through 1774. Actual use of the written word to mislead was well established in Academia by the 1830s and firmly entrenched in most learned corners and in popular media by the 1860s. I trust the primary sources of the period. Additionally, novelists were infected last, with men from Hawthorn and Melville down through early post modern novelists like Eckhert and Thom maintaining reality in the face of delusion many generations past the point when political and academic authors had long since given their souls over to lie-based myth making. Myth has power, with political and academic myth powered on falsehood and omission and creative myth such as the novel being better suited to truth. The very admission that one is writing a novel compels the author to either parrot the prevailing false myth for short term notoriety or traffic in truth for lasting literature.”
Yeti Waters: “I have a hard time believing that any body ever does anything out of the goodness of their heart. So when I read that Tecumseh was against torture and that Simon Kenton just hung out by the river to see who he could help, I suspect this is myth making or that they had a cold calculation behind these supposedly selfless acts.”
Yeti Crackpot: “This cynicism has been planted in you by the this world of lies that hates you. Superstitious people like the men you referenced would possess an instinct to commit selfless acts in order to build not just a reputation and social credit, but respect with the dead and the higher powers. Men of action have such instincts. Actors are more effective and better killers when they submit to an external-internal code. Kenton would help anybody, so was freed from the indecisive trap we live in where we would see a woman being attacked and run calculations as to whether she would turn on us for helping her, or whether we would be arrested. This instinctual moral myopia did not serve Kenton in civilization. For when the lawyers, soldiers, patriots and politicians and other creatures of the lie caught up to him and Daniel Boone and the rest, they were legalistically screwed out of every material reward for their heroics, and were left with only the echo of their deeds. So when we tell their stories, we fight The Beast.”
Yeti Waters: “What about Tecumseh sparing captives that his men wanted to torture and kill?”
Yeti Crackpot: “That may have been a simple expedient to avoid genocide. He knew he could not win and was committing suicide to fight the Evil American Beast, the world eating monster. His having a higher moral code than the Americans planted a guilt seed in the heart of this nation and has over hundreds of years resulted in the surviving tribes people enjoying the sympathy of most Americans, even in cases when certain tribes were as sleazy as the Americans.”
Yeti Waters: “Do you think he really predicted the comet and the earth quake?”
Yeti Crackpot: “He had high literacy under Quaker tutelage, was probably half English himself and had access to almanacs and the people who wrote them. We flatter ourselves that every scrap of written record survived his time and that if we don’t have it it did not exist. If you can predict an astronomical anomaly, earthquakes naturally follow, as with our current increase in volcanism during the grand solar minimum we entered a couple years ago. See Randal Carslon’s work on the Carolina Bays for an example of truly indigenous astronomical record keeping in tribal lore. His brother was promoting a pseudo-Christian cult that predated them both and came right out of European-American apocalypse culture.”
Yeti Waters: “Okay, we are weird, not many people are weird like us. I have to refute your insistence that many and even most of your readers are smarter than you. You have more original ideas and can see more things that professional historians can’t see, like the fact that Herodotus was telling the truth about the Persian invasion and that Xerxes wanted to kill off most of his army in Greece.”
Yeti Crackpot: “I will not advance a measure of intelligence of my own making just so that I could score high on it. The measure of intelligence of the world, of this world, is school grades. I tried to pass 9th grade twice and only gave up on the third attempt. It was important to me to prove I was not stupid even though I had no plans for college. I cried about it at home in bed at night, not wanting to be a dummy. I could not play foot ball for the simple fact that I could not remember a single play. I cannot remember the lyrics to a single song, even my favorite song. Objectively, anyone who passed 9th grade is smarter than I am, and those who went on and did well in higher education are many times smarter. I stand by the contention that I can see reality when others mostly see fantasy simply because I was too goddamned stupid to process the lies we were fed.”
Yeti Waters: “I disagree, James LaFond!”
Yeti Crackpot: “Thank you.”
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